Halifax Regional Council is about to have a contentious debate over proposed money-saving changes to its garbage system — even though the province says a number of the suggestions won't be allowed.
The overhaul of Halifax's garbage system could save the city $144 million. At the centre is the Otter Lake landfill, where most of city's garbage ends up — about 140,000 tonnes per year.
Some of the controversial recommendations include extending the life of the Otter Lake landfill beyond 2024, increasing the height by 15 metres, reducing bag limits and mandating the use of clear bags.
But Environment Minister Randy Delorey said they won't entertain the proposals.
Fifteen years ago, a representative community group signed an agreement with the municipality to allow the landfill site in their backyard when no other community was willing to do so.
“This is a particular operation that came into being through community consultation and with community support to achieve the current operating agreements that are in place," said Delorey. "That's why our commitment is to respect those agreements that have been in place which allowed this facility to get up and running,”
He added the only way he thinks the government might consider small changes is if the community is on board.
The NDP MLA for Sackville-Cobequid, Dave Wilson, said he thinks the new Liberal government should put its objections in writing to stop the debate.
“It’s important that the provincial government make it very clear to the municipality. We did it when we were in government and I think the premier needs to do it as soon as possible, he said.
Local residents have complained about odours, vermin and water pollution concerns.
Council begins debating the 95 page report on Tuesday morning.